Popular cafe/eatery Steins have announced their departure from Chester market. Owner Amanda Stein , who joined the market in the summer of 2018, is leaving to focus on her successful outside catering business. Amanda commented: ” A big thank you to all our lovely customers who have come into Chester market to support us. We have enjoyed being part of the market community and will be sad to leaving all the lovely friends I’ve made. We can continue to provide steins catering for you but in a different situation.”

Steins join fashion retailer Reflections and flagship Stile Napoletano who have both departed the market in recent weeks. New additions to the market include sweet shop Hannah’s Heaven, Bangladeshi food stall Guroma and Chester Carpets. The market will also be one of the venues for the upcoming Chester Comedy Festival. www.chestercomedyfestival.com for tickets.

Steins saying goodbye to Chester Market

Offsetting the multiple recent retail closures, the city is undergoing a Bakery Boom with 2 new businesses open, and a further 2 to follow . Artisan micro bakery Kookaburra Bakehouse specialises in Australian bakes, cruffins and sourdough loaves, are open Thursday to Saturday. Polish artisans Olawa Bakery are now open on Brook street, offering bread and cakes, handmade using traditional Polish baking recipes. Meanwhile Jaunty Goat’s Bakery on Bridge street is opening soon, and Boughton will be welcoming Clwyd Bakery to the former bank unit on Christleton road.

Artisan Polish baked goods on Brook street

Congratulations to Cestrian and Lego Master Steve Guinness on the release of his Lego typewriter model. Ex teacher Steve founded his own business The Brick Consultant building bespoke Lego models and delivering workshops and activities to share his passion for creativity and Lego. Steve was the winner in the first series of Channel 4’s Lego Masters in 2017, and his typewriter creation was selected by Lego to be made into an official product after winning 10,000 supporters on the Lego Ideas platform. The set is released on July 1st and costs £179.99

Now online as part of this years successful Chester Heritage Festival , “Bridge Street- then and now” by Take 27 Ltd ( http://www.take27.co.uk) offers a glimpse back through the centuries at Chester in the Third century. The fascinating video combines digital imaging with modern day footage to recreate the Roman Bath House and the impressive South Gate which once stood at the end of Bridge street.

Chester Pride have announced the line up for their “reflect and Connect” event on the 18th September, with headliner Atomic Kitten. Pride are offering the chance to “Reflect on the year gone by & connect with friends new and old an afternoon event packed full of live entertainment, food & beverages and the chance to see all of our charitable projects.” The ticketed event will take place in the Castle Square car park. Meanwhile voting closes on the 16th July to select the name for Pride’s new community cafe: Café name THE FINAL VOTE (google.com)

Plans for the disused Hydro electric station, unused since 1949 continue to be developed. The vision to create a working hydro electric power station alongside a visitor and election centre is championed by new group Cheshire Heritage and Sustainability Enterprises CIC, (CHASE) who will create and manage the site alongside local businesses and the council. Chair of CHASE CIC, Chester based Dr Niall Macfadyen said; “The site was chosen for the Hydro Hub centre because of its unique and long history of low carbon energy production.  Situated on Chester Weir, where water powered mills and factories had existed for over 850 years, a building was constructed there to produce Hydro Electricity from 1914.  When opened the plant generated almost half of Chester’s electricity needs and continued to operate until 1949. A 3 minute survey to obtain views about the idea is available at Hydro Hub Survey – Survio

A new Lache walking group has been set up in coordination between the council and the Rambler’s Association. Council Leader Louise Gittins said: “The aim of the group is to bring people together to get a breath of fresh air to boost health and wellbeing. The group is open to all and is led by trained walk leaders who lead the group on a steady walk to Westminster Park or other local greenspaces and back, walking for approximately 30 to 45 minutes with stops to enjoy the surroundings.”

The group meets every Wednesday at 9:30am at the Lache Community Centre.  Contact Sian Hughes on 07436 854181 to book a place. Further walks can be found at https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder. If you are interested in volunteering or setting up a new walk then please contact: healthranger@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.

Chester Pop up , St Michaels Row, in the Grosvenor Centre offers local businesses the opportunity to be part of the city centre on a short term/ temporary basis. The scheme, which launched in November offers businesses a premises for 1-6 weeks, paying a flat weekly rate which includes bills, rates and social media promotion. Chris Nutter, at commercial property agency Barker Proudlove, creators of the Chester Pop-Up shop, said: ‘It’s become a necessity in this ever-changing retail environment to offer something a little bit different. We care about giving small businesses a chance to try a city centre retail position without long leases, rates and bills. The financial outlay is manageable and transparent from the outset and they have the benefit of flexibility – so they can take the space for as little as a week.’ To apply Contact Contemporary by Barker Proudlove (contemporarybybp.co.uk)

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